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Boost for Kenya Tea Industry

11 Feb

2015 has started on a positive note for key players in the tea industry. Government in its ongoing drive to develop and increase competitiveness of Kenya tea has disbursed Sh442.31 million fertilizer subsidy to small scale tea farmers under the management of Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) to cushion them from the high costs of farm inputs.The tea farmers will receive a Ksh.321.35 rebate on each bag of fertilizer supplied under the KTDA fertilizer credit scheme. Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei launched the subsidy scheme at Kambaa Tea Factory in Kiambu County, where he appealed to tea farmers to diversify their businesses beyond tea.

The farmers have been offset by rising productions cost and also challenged by dry weather patterns prevailing in the region which left them overburdened and resulted in declined export volumes. The Cabinet Secretary observed that tea auction prices were slowly on the rise and coupled with the measures the Government plans to implement such as the setting up of the stabilization fund and fertilizer subsidy, farmers should be able to profit from the crop. The government realises that agriculture is still the backbone on the economy and will continue to aid in efforts to make sure the industry remains viable and competitive on the world stage.

The government is further engaged in efforts to to empower tea growers, urging them to invest in other enterprises besides tea to supplement their earnings, this follows the signing of a Sh911.6 million pact between the Kenya Tea Development Agency Holding Ltd (KTDA) and FMO, a Dutch Development Bank aimed at making small-scale tea growers self-sufficient. More than 560,000 small-scale tea farmers in various parts of the country will now be able to access affordable credit facilities to enable them expand and diversify investments.The farmers will access the money through Greenland Fedha (GFL), a subsidiary of KTDA which was started in 2009 to assist small scale tea farmers access affordable credit using tea as collateral.

 

 

 

 

 
 

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